Aug 26, 2014 7:16 PM by Leah Kraus
Starting this summer, health professionals in Colorado are required to report suspected cases of elder abuse to police.
Staggering new numbers have been released about the physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elderly people in Colorado in the Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition's 1st Month report card.
In July 2013, Adult Protective Services at the El Paso County Department of Human Services received a total
of 114 reports and in July of this year they received a total of 179 reports -- that's an increase of 57%.
The Colorado Springs Police Department says they have received 49 referrals from ADP regarding elder abuse. That's also up, as the highest amount prior to July 1, 2014 was 39.
Under the new law, these professionals must contact police within 24 hours.
"You must report observed abuse or exploitation of an at-risk elder or if there's any reasonable cause to believe an at-risk elder has been abused or exploited or is an imminent risk of abuse or exploitation," says Sgt. Mitch Mihalko, of the Investigations Division of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
Things that must be reported include theft, robbery, neglect, or sexual assault.
Failure to report abuse is a class 3 misdemeanor and can include up to six months in jail and/or a $750 fine.